Mother’s rights during divorce, and other family law cases, face the competing interests of the needs of the children and involvement of the father. When a court considers the issues of parenting time and decision making, it’s charged with evaluating the needs of the children and what may be in their best interests. Knowing that these are the factors a judge will be weighing can help mothers successfully focus their cases and obtain positive results for themselves and their families.
Mother’s Rights During Divorce
The time a mom gets to spend with her kids is precious. During a divorce, it can feel as if that precious time is being threatened or taken away. Throwing terms around like “sole custody” and “visitation” only serve to make a mom’s fear even more real.
But in the vast majority of divorce cases these fears, while rational and understandable, are definitely overstated. Divorce courts try hard to impact and change the lives of the children as little as possible. Judges structure their orders to provide consistency for the family wherever it is possible.
Yet threats of “taking the kids away” stubbornly persist. Parents all too often try to use this threat as a means of getting what they want from the other spouse, be it more child support or a greater distribution of the marital estate or other motives.
While in the vast majority of divorce cases, threats to “take the kids away” are hollow and empty, they stir up fear and anger.
The trick is for the mom to know the difference between the hollow and empty threats and a courtroom reality. You can only do that by being well informed.
Lawyers can help by explaining to moms how a court reaches a parenting time decision, what factors it will look at, and what the real risks are. Only then will a mom move from fear of these threats to irritation that a spouse is lashing out in this uninformed manner.
In Colorado, even the fact that a spouse throws the phase “sole custody” around should tip you off that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Colorado doesn’t even have “sole custody”.
Colorado Lawyers and judges don’t talk about “custody” or “visitation” and when someone in a divorce case starts spouting off these phrases, the professionals involved – and our informed clients – know it’s just a bunch of nonsense.
There are no such things in our courtrooms as “custody” or “visitation”. Colorado courts allocate “parenting time” and “decision-making” instead.
The phrase “parenting time” means the time allotment for each parent to spend with their kids. A parenting time order consists of dates, times, locations, and sometimes directions as to conduct.
For example, this schedule gives one parent every other weekend from Friday after school until Monday morning, plus one evening a week:
Parenting time is often broken out into regular parenting time, holiday parenting time, and summer parenting time. Each period has its own schedule. However, parents, lawyers and courts often highly customize these schedules so as to fit the best interests of the children.
Decision making responsibility for children is also allocated between the parents in Colorado divorce cases. The phrase “decision making” refers to the major life decisions for children in a divorce, such as education, religion, health care, etc.. Decision making maybe award to the parents jointly, solely to one parent, or it can be allocated out based on the subject matter.
Child support obligations are common in Colorado divorce cases involving children. Vary rarely is there a family law case where there is no support order.
In Colorado family law cases, child support is calculated based on a strict formula. The formula is based on several factors including incomes of the parties, the number of overnights each parents gets with the children, and any work-related childcare expenses.
Domestic violence is a serious matter. In divorce cases, violence between spouses is all too common. This violence can impact everyone involved and result in tragic consequences.
Protection Orders can help victims gain some independence and space from the abuser. While not perfect, these Orders often provide the best protection possible.
Fees and Costs